Every organisation has a culture, but what all businesses strive towards is to make it a positive environment that makes for a bigger, stronger and more impactful workforce. To do this, the concept that must be nurtured and developed is one of the most valued universal goals – happiness.
How to develop a ‘happy’ culture
Happiness isn’t an uncommon emotion, but in the workplace it can sometimes come off as being insincere, dehumanising the personal factors necessary for quality relationships. Distractions like quirky decorations or expensive social events are sometimes conceived as being beneficial, but for the most part they are superficial and ineffective.
Understanding the innate drivers for a happy organisation will ultimately lead to better employee satisfaction. Psychology has given us some factors around communication, motivation and wellbeing that give strong indicators as to what makes a happy culture.
People love to work together. It requires trust and the ability to listen, and social relationships are so strongly linked to wellbeing that they are viewed as a psychological necessity. Working in a team and creating those relationships means you are more likely to help each other out in the future, eventually garnering an atmosphere where everyone goes out of their way to connect with their colleagues in a positive and encouraging manner.
2. Be fair
If an employee feels that their workplace is unfair, they are not going to be interested in giving their full potential for fear of being exploited. Alternatively, they may just ‘give up’ on the company, as they can’t thrive in a position in which they don’t feel valued. It seems like a simple idea, but in the hard world of business, fairness can easily be overlooked when each person is looking out for themselves or the ‘good of the company.’
People need to be in control of their own jobs in order to get the most out of it. Being constantly micromanaged leads only to a feeling of resentment towards higher ups and the company in general, and can actually lead to learned helplessness, a significant factor in diagnosing depression. Being able to claim ownership of their work is something that every employee should experience as it makes them more motivated, creative, productive and happier with the overall result of their time at work, and works much better than a basic reward and punishment system.
It is next to impossible to enjoy a workplace task if it is of no challenge to you either mentally or physically. The only way to grow as a person is to continually test yourself in new situations, feel excitement and fear or satisfaction while attempting new things. Settling into a routine in which you no longer feel stretched will lead to a drop in happiness levels as it seems like there is no end goal or prize for a task you have already mastered.
Everyone wants to make a difference in the world with what they do, and believing that you are making a change gives a sense of purpose, engagement and motivation for our jobs. Having a purposeful rather than profitable goal has been found to be ultimately more satisfying, suggesting that moral values are vital when it comes to inspiring someones best performance. Companies that benefit society and perform work that is worthwhile have happier cultures and better staff retention.
Information taken from TLNT.